Shawn O'Brien, CFA

Director, Retirement

Team page shawn obrien

About Shawn

Shawn leads the U.S. Retirement research practice, which focuses on the defined contribution (DC) and individual retirement account (IRA) markets. He also leads and supports strategic consulting projects for asset managers on their DC-related market entry and product distribution strategies.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Shawn worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, where he co-authored case studies on investment management for professional and personal investors and managing and innovating in financial services. Prior to that, he worked in the Currency Management group at State Street Global Markets, employing currency overlay strategies for large asset managers and asset owners.


  • Boston College
    Master of Science in Applied Economics
  • Merrimack College
    Bachelor of Science in Finance
  • CFA® charterholder

Honors and Awards

  • Quoted in the Financial Times, Barron’s, Pensions & Investments, FundFire, and other industry leading publications as a subject matter expert on the U.S. retirement market

Areas of Expertise

  • Asset management and recordkeeping landscape within the U.S. retirement markets
  • DC-focused product development and distribution strategies
  • Advice and product innovation trends in the DC market
  • Trends in DC participant decision-making and behavior

Recent Project Work

Learn More about the Retirement Practice

Cerull's U.S. Retirement practice captures evolving dynamics of the market across plan providers, plan sponsors, plan participants, and intermediaries.

Learn More

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